Dreaming of a Symptom-Free Life: MHAM 2014 Blog Challenge: Day 1

Today, June 1, 2014, is the first day of 2014 Migraine & Headache Awareness Month. Migraine & Headache Awareness Month (MHAM) is an annual observation in the United States with the goal of building awareness, educating the public and reducing the stigma associated with Migraine, Cluster Headache and other Headache Disorders. The 2014 theme is "Dreaming of a World without Headache and Migraine."

As in past years, our team of patient writers here at Migraine.com is tackling the Migraine & Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge prompts. All of the prompts and the instructions for participating can be found here: 2014 Migraine & Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge | AHMA Blog. I hope some of you will consider blogging along with us as you're able. If you do, please utilize these hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc: #MHAM #MHAM14 #MHAM14.

The MHAM Blog Challenge prompt for today is: "It’s been said that patients who are able to talk about what they would do without their Headache or Migraine tend to be less depressed and more hopeful. Some patients have lost the ability to dream about their lives without the present taking hold and destroying their ability to dream of something better. 'What would you do if your dream of a pain and a completely symptom free life, came true?'"

When I became profoundly disabled by Chronic Migraine and no longer able to work at all, let alone in my chosen field of law, I felt I was losing every dream I'd ever had for my life. I was incapacitated by depression and didn't know how to cope with the loss of my identity. It took many years (and lots of therapy with a wonderful psychotherapist) to learn how to dream new dreams and reenvision my old dreams through a different lens.

I choose not to spend a lot of time thinking about what I'd do if I woke up tomorrow and my life was instantly transformed to a Migraine-free existence. This is mainly because I don't know if this will ever be my reality. And because I know it's possible to have an awesome life WITH Migraine Disease, even Chronic Migraine.

I miss my old career as an attorney working for a state legislature. I loved my work. I felt so lucky to have found the right job for me immediately after passing the bar exam. But I've learned there are other ways to try to be fulfilled and use my knowledge. Sharing what I've learned both about the law and living with Migraine here at Migraine.com and on my personal blog, Somebody Heal Me, is incredibly fulfilling. It's not the same, but it's better than stagnating.

As far as my personal dreams and goals, family is of primary importance. I've always wanted to be a mother and be able to make my wonderful husband a father. Despite being 35 weeks pregnant with a baby girl today (sorry I've been remiss about sharing this will all of you until now!), it still feels surreal that this dream is finally coming true for us after so many setbacks and struggles.

I still have worries about what kind of mother I'll be able to be given the limits of life with Chronic Migraine. But I know I have an incredible support system and the determination to do the very best I can with the situation as it exists. If I can say so without sounding arrogant, I think our little girl will be much luckier than most kids born into this world, Migraineur mom or not.

I am incredibly blessed in my life. It's not been the life I envisioned for myself, but it's still wonderful, fulfilling and special. I'd be missing out on so much if I hadn't found the tools to learn how to dream again.

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